William William C. Smith of Maryland is deployed to Afghanistan

As a shophomore in William & Mary College in Virginia, William C. Smith Jr was arranging for classes when he heard Katie Couric on television that an airplane went into the World Trade Center.

Smith spent the next hours trying to reach his friends and family in New York and Washington. His mother was an administrative employee of the General Services Administration, and his father was driving a cabin around Reagan's National Airport.

Days later, Smith decided to go into the military. His mother, Patricia, urged him to stay in school and earn his degree. Eventually, he received a law school and went on to law school, and chose to attend his own country by entering the US Naval Reserve.

Eighteen years after 9/11, Smith, a state senator of Maryland, is now facing his first deployment in a war zone. He is scheduled to spend eight months in Afghanistan as an information officer, as part of the military's call for Resolute Support Behavior.

“The best thing about this is that everyone is very supportive,” said Smith, 37, a solicitor at Solomon Law's Business in the District. “I look forward to the deployment. I am a little nervous, but I know my family is in good hands. ”

Smith, who completed the Commission's Direct Officers Program and Marshall-Wythe Law School, will leave the country during the final closing days of the General Assembly 90 day legislative session.

William C. Smith Jr (D-Montgomery) (Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post)

Before departing, the Senate is under democratic control to move quickly to act on important pieces of legislation where Smith's vote could be needed to anticipate violations by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to overcome.

They include a bill to raise the states minimum wage of $ 15 per hour, a measure to control local school areas on school calendars, and legislation governing the control of alcohol and tobacco from the state controller's office.

Smith and his colleagues are also working to promote their legislative package, including a bill that provides gender neutral driving licenses, which allows patients with headaches to lead their own lives. and a measure requiring testing of rape equipment within six months of collection.

The senator, who chairs the Veterans Cheer of the legislation, is one of the 25 law makers in the 188-member General Assembly with military experience. It is believed that deployment during the legislative session is rare.

According to the National Congress of State Legislators, 63 state legislators were serving in a military reserve or National Guard units in 2010, data was collected last year. Twenty six state legislations were deployed between 2005 and 2010. This was followed by a Maryland Major House Shepherd, Anthony G. Brown. Brown, who went on to become a lieutenant-governor and represents Maryland in Congress, was now deployed to Iraq in 2004, raising his profile in Annapolis.

Maryland State Senator, William C. Smith Jr., married his daughter, Jacqueline Smith, during the opening of the 4th session of the Maryland General Assembly on January 9 in Annapolis. (Matt McClain / The Washington Post)

He and Smith know each other, but their relationship was limited to a text message once a year until Smith found out about his deployment. Now he and Brown have made a bond, said the two of them.

Brown and his wife have made a check into Smith's wife, Camille G. Fesche, who works as a lobbyist in Annapolis, and her 11-month-old daughter, Jacqueline, during his absence.

Smith and Brown are in a kind of brotherhood, Brown said. “I am very proud that he answered the call that fewer and fewer Americans are willing to respond.”

Smith was elected to the House of Delegates in 2014, and became a TD The first African American to represent Montgomery County in the Maryland Senate when appointed in 2016 to fill a vacant seat at that time U.S was filled. Representative-elected Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.).

He was elected to the Seanad seat in 2018 and the Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr (D-Calvert) served as vice-chairman of the powerful Judicial Committee.

Since the publication of news of its deployment, colleagues in Annapolis and a legislative area, stretching from Colesville to Silver Spring, are the city where it grew up.

Fesche said that while she and Smith knew months ago that he might be given a duty, “it's still a shock to the system thinking it won't be there for you for a period.”

Smith's legislative office will continue to operate and his staff will respond to common issues. He is grateful that he will only lose nine days of the legislative session and should be home at Thanksgiving, more than a month before the 2020 session begins.

Over the past few weeks, Smith intends to look closely at his daughter, who is pulling up and taking up furniture. He said that the hope is that the surfing will go away before he leaves.


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